Why Climate Change Deniers Are Worse Than Paedophiles

It's been impossible to escape the climate change debate in Australia in recent weeks. We've been suffering through an unprecedented heatwave, and everyone's talking about the damn weather. Yep, Australia is a hot country; always has been. But this is like something never seen before - more hot days, higher temperatures, heat spells that go on for longer. Records are being broken. Twenty years ago, climate scientists began to predict what would happen if we didn't change our ways, and now the predictions are coming true. Unless of course you're a climate change denier. These people cling to their beliefs with religious fervour. Climate change is all a hoax, perpetrated by the massive power and funding of big science. Coal and oil producers are helpless in the face of the might of the scientific community to counter the slanderous threats to their industry. There's a lot of money to be made in jumping on the global warming bandwagon, so of course everyone is; nothing more to it than that. Which is odd, really, because climate change deniers tend to be the kind of people who think Gina Rinehart is a great person. Surely, if there was unprecedented financial opportunity in spreading the myth of global warming, she and the other mining barons would leap on board?

Isaac Asimov once wrote "Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" Never do we see this illustrated so clearly as in the views of climate change deniers, who believe the whole body of scientific literature on global climate patterns can be countered by their recollections of hot days in their youth. The shameful thing is that the MSM gives these views credence. The 7pm news bulletin on Australia's public broadcaster, the ABC, recently ran a story about the heatwave and climate change; along with scientists, it features the opining of a 60-year resident of Alice Springs who thought there wasn't much to this climate change business because - wait for it - he remembered a really bad heatwave in the 1950s. Presumably this is the ABC's idea of balance, and I await the next story on child protection to feature an interview with a paedophile, to give both sides of the story (and I await the comment "blogger compares climate change deniers to paedophiles").

Of course, I wouldn't do that. Actually, they're worse. They want us all dead. The heat alone kills more Australians each year than the road toll, and that's to say nothing of deaths from bushfires and the "once a century" floods that now happen every couple of years. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, pun intended - we haven't even begun to really see the effects of rising sea levels. Climate change deniers also tend to be the kind of people who fear "illegal immigrants swamping Australia". You think we have a problem now? Wait till the Pacific Islands start becoming uninhabitable from rising sea levels. Where are their citizens going to go? Hmm...here.

Maybe I should feel sorry for these people. Maybe they're in denial because the truth is too frightening to face. Maybe they're just simple, good-hearted folk who believe the lies they've been told on climate change. Maybe I should understand that the modern world is scary and confusing, and this is all too much to...hell, no. I don't feel sorry for them. I think they're engaging in a form of mass manslaughter, if you will, and their selfish inability to learn and change will destroy the planet, and I hope they all pass on soon, and that they don't do too much damage before they go